A TOWN Mayor's first official duty was to present awards to secondary school pupils.

The Mayor of Bishop Auckland Councillor Joy Allen visited King James I Academy on Wednesday, a day after receiving the chains of office.

Sixth Former Abbi Stephenson was presented with the Academic Achievement Award for excellence in GCSE and A-level studies. The award also recognised her success in the Social Mobility Programme 2020, a national initiative giving gifted and talented young people access higher-level work experience. Abbi, who studies A-level biology, chemistry, maths and geography and hopes to work in medicine, will shadow young doctors at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle during the summer holidays.

Town Council Youth Awards went to year seven pupils Lilly Tinkler and Jay Mason for their work in school on energy conservation initiatives and recycling projects.